At Reality we’ve been learning about strongholds that we have the ability to become free of. Most recently Pastor David taught on bitterness.
Proverbs 14:10 says, “Each heart knows it’s own bitterness…”
Ephesians 4:31 “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.”
I find it compellingly necessary to address a lie that has been oppressively successful. Commonly, when we hear, “Don’t become bitter,” our minds make a leap from bitterness to forgiveness and from forgiveness to hurt and from hurt to the perpetrator of the pain. We are reminded of the real injustices. We remember those who hurt us. We remember the pain.
The lie is that you and I must deny the real and significant pain in order to forgive and avoid bitterness. That is absolute RUBBISH! The pain is real. The hurt is real. The feelings we experienced were real. For some of us, the emotion is as real today as it was when the pain originally occurred.
Bitterness & Pain are not synonymous. Again, bitterness & pain ARE NOT SYNONYMOUS. If you’ve been breathing for any amount of time, you’ve experienced true pain. Bitterness is real and it relies on your emotions. It is the prompting that is constantly trying to remind and connect you to the pain and the hurt. It is parasitical in nature. It attaches itself to your memories and your feelings and tries to keep you living in the pain of your experiences rather than the freedom that we’ve been offered through the blood of Jesus.
Bitterness is the framework that tries to keep you connected to the perpetrator by keeping you connected to the pain.
Forgiveness is your path to freedom.
Forgiveness is choosing to live free of that connection. It IS NOT a “get out of jail free” card for the perpetrator. It DOES NOT deny their guilt or responsibility.
Pain is real and Bitterness is real, but they are NOT one in the same.
I hope this will help some of us to walk away from the falsity that we cannot forgive because we cannot ignore the pain.
We can forgive. We can live without the burden of bitterness…without a weight that we were not created to carry.
You may not ever feel like forgiving, but by the grace of God, you can choose to forgive and live a life free of bitterness.